I love books and their covers. There's a whole world of creative designs out there—some are so memorable that I remember them from being a kid. I've even bought books based on their cover designs (which is a bit of a geeky thing to do, I admit).
So it saddens me greatly to see self-publishing authors work their arses off writing a book, only for the cover design they end up with let the whole thing down. Massively.
There's no reason, in this day and age, to produce a self-published book that looks any less professional and polished than one that comes from a top publishing house.
So I've made it my mission to help you get there.
Hi, I'm Julia Brown: book designer and illustrator, and founder of Brown Owl Design. I'm also an artist (mostly painting), dabbling ceramicist (emphasis on dabbling), blogger, graphic designer and cat herder.
I ride a motorcycle, took 20-something years to pass my driving test, fight people with swords for fun, and love running (something I never thought I'd say, if you'd asked 14-year-old me).
I live with my lovely and long suffering partner, Damon Price, who is a bloody talented sculptor (which means we always have interesting and sometimes slightly random projects lying around the place).
We also have 3 cats (sometimes it seems like we have 6): 2 gobby Siamese, and a British Shorthair called Blue (who has an invisible pair of iridescent magic wings and a penchant for prawns). He's blue (well, grey).
Although I originally trained as a Fine Artist, I cut my commercial design skills working as a concept artist and designer for over 10 years, creating the large scale-decorations and grottos you see in shopping malls at Christmas, as well as the marketing graphics that advertised them.
When it got to the point that I really hated Christmas, and I finally decided I'd had enough, I quit my job and the toxic company I worked for, and made art and design my full-time business.
So I work with self-publishing business owners and entrepreneurs from both the UK and worldwide, designing their covers and the marketing materials to help get their books out into the world and into reader's hands looking the best they can be.
In the growing world of self-publishing, I have a mission to help authors who have worked tirelessly to write their books get the high-end cover they deserve. A book cover that looks professional, not like their mate down the pub designed it, one that avoids rookie mistakes and bad design blunders, and a cover that makes their book sparkle and promotes them and their business.
My goal is to help self-publishing authors get a book cover they can be proud of, and a cover that SELLS THEIR BOOK.
There are a million questions that start popping into your head when you're designing your own book cover or want to work with a designer or illustrator. Find helpful articles and guidance on my blog...
"The whole process was completely seamless. Julia did everything that I would expect a professional to do: she took away all of the headache, and all of the stress and any organisation that came with producing a book cover—the correct size, dimensions etc.—I didn't have to think about any of that stuff at all, which completely freed me up to concentrate on what I do best: writing the book.
If you go on Amazon and search for Dog Training books, mine stands out by a country mile: which is exactly what I wanted. Because people DO judge books by their covers.
I'm so proud of the book because it looks like a real work of quality, and for that I've got to thank Julia."
Dominic Hodgson - Author and Europe's Leading Pet Business Marketing Expert